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Preferred Upgrades to AR-15? Login/Join 
34" Scale 5-String
Picture of bronicabill
posted
Just recently added a quad rail to my Ruger AR-556, and was curious what accessories folks recommend to be added.... in order of importance.

Currently I am considering the following, in no particular order:

1) Vertical grip
2) Weapon light
3) Green laser

At this moment I am leaning towards a nice light, followed by a laser. I have no idea whether a vertical grip would be an asset or not since I’ve never shot with one.

Discuss... and thanks in advance!


Bill R.
North Alabama
 
Posts: 3644 | Location: Madison, AL | Registered: December 06, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The cake is a lie!
Picture of Nismo
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Vickers sling.

I have a KAC vertical grip, but I use it more like a hand stop rather than dong gripping it.
 
Posts: 6559 | Location: CA | Registered: April 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Vertical grip I could take or leave. Really I consider it for a gun with lots of forward accessories that's nose heavy. If not then I prefer not to have them. Ymmv. Weapons lights wise I've been an X300Ua guy but I would like to try a cloud defense OWL light. A vis laser outside of shield work doesn't do much for me with our rules. IR laser under Nods makes a ton of sense.

I generally set up my ARs we with a rail, light, irons and a dot or scope and I'm pretty happy as far as needs.
 
Posts: 2377 | Location: Pnw | Registered: March 21, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigless in
Indiana
Picture of IndianaBoy
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A high quality optic. A white light. A sling.


Time spent shooting it from practical positions, not a shooting bench.
 
Posts: 13652 | Location: The Edge of the Ozarks | Registered: December 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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^^^^^

This. In that order.
 
Posts: 683 | Location: Colorado | Registered: October 11, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Spread the Disease
Picture of flesheatingvirus
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Aftermarket trigger maybe?


________________________________________

-- Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. --
 
Posts: 15457 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: October 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Am The Walrus
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2 stage trigger and grip are the first mods I do.


_____________

 
Posts: 11029 | Location: All over | Registered: March 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Rustpot
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Depends on what you're trying to go for.

For a home defense "fighting" gun- I concur with the above; Optic, white light, sling. Add in high quality ambi controls since I'm a lefty.

Lasers aren't as effective on a long gun where point shooting is pretty capable at close range, and a red dot is faster at further distances where aiming is required. A laser is great if you can't use your optic due to a gas mask or night vision, but that's pretty limited for the home. Plus a quality laser is going to cost a ton of cash, anything more affordable isn't going to be a good piece of gear most likely.
 
Posts: 5884 | Location: Romeo, MI | Registered: January 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of vthoky
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I recently installed a Seekins ambidextrous selector (link) and I really like it. I've become a fan of the oversize bolt catch (here) as well.

The Vickers padded sling will be the next upgrade... once they become available again.

Spending two days with jljones and OpSpec Training last summer, I became a big fan of the Vortex Spitfire Prism sight, too.




God bless America.
 
Posts: 10196 | Location: Hokie Nation! | Registered: July 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Music's over turn
out the lights
Picture of David W
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Home defense: weaponlight and sling, then you can start adding all the others things like triggers, grips, optics etc.

Whats the laser for?


David W.

Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud. -Sophocles
 
Posts: 3424 | Location: Winston Salem, N.C. | Registered: May 30, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of cas
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To me, trigger is #1

None of my AR's have any of your 1,2,3.
(theoretically, I have lights, and my rifles have places to attach them, but don't. A light would serve no purpose on my rifles. (I do have them on a handgun and a shotgun))


_____________________________________________________
Sliced bread, the greatest thing since the 1911.

 
Posts: 18032 | Location: 18th & Fairfax  | Registered: May 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
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Sling, light, optic. I mention them in that order for a reason, and I’m sure folks will disagree, which is fine.

My reasoning is that being able to retain the rifle is primary to most, if not all things. See: Kyle Rittenhouse for a good example why. Also, you don’t buy a pistol and mount a red dot and light on it before you buy a holster for it. The light comes next because identifying and illuminating a threat is a pretty critical function. Then the optic because if you have the first two things and the rifle is in working order and sighted in with irons or backup sights, you’re still capable of using it to defend yourself. Losing the light or the sling puts you on worse footing than not having the optic, IMO.
 
Posts: 12225 | Location: Seattle-ish | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by cas:
To me, trigger is #1

None of my AR's have any of your 1,2,3.
(theoretically, I have lights, and my rifles have places to attach them, but don't. A light would serve no purpose on my rifles. (I do have them on a handgun and a shotgun))


Same here. I have one light mounted to an AR, and it’s a home defense AR. Not on any others. Only VFG I have is on a M4A1 clone. No lasers, red or green.
 
Posts: 2200 | Location: South FL | Registered: February 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gracie Allen is my
personal savior!
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Try the vertical grip before trying the laser. It's cheaper, and if you like it you'll know immediately. Come to think of it, a good optic obviates any use I'd have for a laser as far as I can tell, but YMMV. Unless it's a recreational, hunting or range-only rifle, a decent light will generally make sense.
 
Posts: 24756 | Location: Deep in the heart of the brush country, and closing on that #&*%!?! roadrunner. Really. | Registered: February 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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start w the trigger

some 'mil-spec' triggers are fine from the factory. some are pretty bad.

after that -- get a sling of your preference.

i'm pretty KISS after that.

------------------------------


Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
 
Posts: 8130 | Location: Florida | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
Picture of RogueJSK
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quote:
Originally posted by Nismo:
Vickers sling.


Yep. Every defensive rifle needs a sling. And a light. And preferably an optic.

quote:
I have a KAC vertical grip, but I use it more like a hand stop rather than dong gripping it.


That's how I utilize my vertical grips too. Therefore, I prefer short, stubby ones that are slightly angled rearward, like the BCM vertical grips.



Thumb on top. Hand wrapped around handguard. Lower fingers on the vertical grip applying rearward pressure. Gives you extra horizontal and vertical stability, and greater control over recoil and muzzle climb.

Similar to these:





 
Posts: 26087 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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As with so many questions about guns like the AR, it really depends on your intended/anticipated use. If, for example, it’s for defensive use inside a small house, an optic is much less important than a mounted light. For other purposes in different situations a light is of really no value.

For all-round multipurpose use, though, my recommendations:

Priority 1, in no particular order.
Sling that can be adjusted for length and used to switch shoulders without unslinging.
A rugged nonmagnifying optic like the various Aimpoints (my preference over others).
Rail-mounted light. I really like the InForce design after having experimented with rotating switches and tape switches.

Priority 2.
Depending on the trigger you already have, an upgrade can be a significant improvement. More than once I have seen a trainee’s precision shooting improve immediately after installing a better than stock trigger.
Magpul B.A.D. lever or similar Phase 5 bolt catch lever. I have both types and although it’s critical that they be tested to ensure they don’t cause any bolt lock open problems they make locking the bolt open and releasing it quickly easier than the standard catch. I will advise that some respected trainers/operators do not like them and they are not a necessity, but I have used mine for years without any problems.
Backup sights for the optic.
Rail mount on the handguard for a bipod with QD mount.

Priority 3.
Some way of storing things like spare battery, firing pin, a small packet of lube, or a couple of extra cartridges (“Save the last one for yourself”) on the gun in the grip or stock. The likelihood of needing any of those items on an urgent basis is very small, but it’s cool to think I have them if I do need them. Smile

I have a short vertical foregrip on one rifle for one purpose only: It makes holding the gun for long periods while riding in a vehicle or standing around while being ready for something to happen more comfortable and less fatiguing than rotating my hand to hold the handguard directly. What it should absolutely not be used for is grasping it while shooting as if pulling the teat of a cow being milked. That technique actually has an adverse effect on our control of the gun. When I shoot that gun, I position my hand exactly as pictured above, but do not miss it when shooting rifles without it. I have tried angled foregrips, and now they live in the unneeded parts box.

I suggest you read up on experienced trainers’ opinions about lasers on rifles unless you’re going to be part of a team equipped with IR lasers and night vision devices. I have read all the arguments pro and con about them I could find, and wouldn’t have one.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42662 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Optics, sling, light

Those would be the first package coming in for a new AR. Not in any particular order, I'd get them all at once.

If you're stuck on a laser, go with a light/laser combination-

https://www.streamlight.com/pr...eapon-mounted-lights

The TLR series has some quality choices.

Slings? Vickers, Magpul and Savy Sniper make some great stuff.
Optics? Aim point, Trigicon, Holosun, Sig Sauer, Vortex, Nightforce.... And the list goes on and on.
Figure out what you want- red dot, magnifying... Then do a little research, ask questions on here, find something that fits in your price range.


_____________________________________________________________________

"When its time to shoot, shoot. Dont talk!"

“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.” —Author Tom Clancy
 
Posts: 6332 | Location: Attempting to keep the noise down around Midway Airport | Registered: February 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
Picture of RogueJSK
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a
quote:
Originally posted by CPD SIG:
The TLR series has some quality choices.


Including the new RM1 and RM2, which are purpose built for use on long guns. (The other TLRs are primarily for handguns, although they can be utilized on long guns in a pinch.)

https://www.streamlight.com/co...lr-rm-1-and-tlr-rm-2


I also like the Inforce WML series, which are also designed specifically for long guns. However, their primary drawback is their polymer cases. I've actually had one of mine crack, although that's reportedly due to a bad polymer batch and not something that's common. But the TLR-RMs have aluminum bodies.

https://inforce-mil.com/products#rifle-lights


*Note that these RM and WML units are lights only. A visible laser has very limited usefulness on a rifle. (And only slightly less limited usefulness on a handgun.) Most lasers that you see installed on rifles are going to be Infrared lasers, for use with night vision goggles.
 
Posts: 26087 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of JonDaddy82
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Larue MBT-2S trigger should be on the list. I also like a Magpul BAD lever on an AR.


IDPA ESP SS
 
Posts: 789 | Location: Nashville, TN | Registered: January 03, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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